Good examples of being reactive are the Anti-Virus products on the market today, for example Norton Utilities by Symantec. While they try to anticipate new types of attacks, they still can not effectively predict specific attacks, because the creators of such attacks are effectively on the 'offensive.'Most laptop computers today use Microsoft's Windows XP, SP2 as the operating system. This release has some of the best security features currently available for a computer, but they need to be checked or in some cases implemented by the user. A good example of this is an anti-virus product installed on your laptop. Not only does the Anti-virus software need to be enabled, but the Microsoft XP settings may need to be changed to accommodate the anti-virus changes.
It is the user's responsibility to make sure this protection in enabled.These checklists outline the steps you should take to reach a baseline of security with Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional computers, either on their own or as part of a Windows NT or Windows 2000 domain. Additional information about these checklists can be found on the Microsoft Website. Just search on the Microsoft site using the term 'security.'Important: The purpose of these checklists is to give instructions for configuring a baseline level of security on Windows XP computers. This guide does not provide a complete list of all security features provided in Windows XP or how to use them. A complete list of new security features available in Windows XP is available on the Microsoft Web site.Windows XP Professional Configuration - 12 Steps
- Verify that all disk partitions are formatted with NTFS
- Protect file shares
- Use Internet Connection sharing for shared Internet connections
- Enable Internet Connection Firewall
- Use software restriction policies
- Use account passwords
- Disable unnecessary services
- Disable or delete unnecessary accounts
- Make sure the Guest account is disabled
- Set stronger password policies
- Set account lockout policy
- Install antivirus software, anti-shareware software and updates These security tips are suggested by Microsoft to provide a baseline level of security for your computer.
- Keep your data safe and backed up
- Use the Internet safely
- Protect your networks and servers, especially when wireless access points are used Microsoft has a tool called the Baseline Security Analyzer that is excellent. It helps detect security threats and is a must have tool for anyone interested in security for a laptop, desktop or computer network.
As you can see, laptop security encompasses a number of things. Many of these things are not really very difficult or even very technical. They do take some thought, planning and often some research to find out the best way to counter some of the threats that are out there today. The good part is that there are many security resources which can be very helpful and useful available on the internet today. Many software and hardware suppliers, like Microsoft, and Dell for example, have extensive security information, articles, whitepapers and books available. Many county, state and federal agencies, such as the Department of Homeland security, FBI and CERT, also have extensive security suggestions and information available for protecting your laptop, desktop computer, and computer network